In the wake of the TomKat divorce, is the media finally calling Scientology a cult?

Tom Cruise at his wedding with son Connor and Scientology head David Miscavige

I’ve been reading about Scientology for years, and following websites like, RickRoss and more recently anonymous. A lot of Internet-savvy people know about how dangerous and destructive a cult Scientology is, but there are so many more well informed people who just consider it another weird religion. For instance my dad reads the entire newspaper cover-to-cover every day (and he’s also online but not all day like I am), but when I tried to talk to him about Scientology he used the old “all religions have strange beliefs” argument, which is true they do. (I hope I convinced him otherwise.) It’s not what Scientologists believe or how they go about practicing their beliefs, it’s the fact that they trap members, drain their life savings, and cut them off from friends and family in a very methodical and scary way. Scientology’s power structure and the way that followers are abused, exploited and trapped in servitude are what makes it a cult, not whatever belief system they may have. If you’d like to know more about cults vs. legitimate religions, the FAQ on cult expert Rick Ross’ site has a good explanation. Also here’s a link to some characteristics of cults and thought reform/brain washing. The part about halfway down, on “Marks of a Destructive Cult,” describes Scientology to a T.

As the Tom and Katie divorce news spread, outlets started looking at Scientology and asking defectors about their experiences in the cult. We heard some very scary stories of families getting split up, children forced to work long hours, people disappearing suspiciously, and people being sent away to Scientology prison camps. Some outlets, like People Magazine, ran ridiculous whitewashed stories comparing Scientology to Catholicism, which definitely has its own issues but that’s not the point. Most took a more skeptical view of the cult and did run some of the very sensational but true stories about what goes on in The Cos. Kudos to Radar Online in particular for their ongoing coverage of this story.

Anyway it looks like all the focus on Scientology may have encouraged Tom to settle with Katie earlier rather than drag it out. In their joint statement just prior to reaching a settlement they made the announcement that they were “committed to Suri’s best interests” but more than that, they were committed “to each of our respective beliefs.” The divorce settlement was actually predicted by high-ranking defector Marty Rathbun, a former auditor of Tom Cruise’s who runs a blog detailing all the latest happenings with his old cult. Rathbun reveals how Scientology head David Miscaviage has a very predictable code of conduct for dealing with issues in the church, and claims that Cruise’s moves so far have been textbook. Miscavige is a close friend of Cruise’s, was best man at his wedding, and even went with Cruise and Holmes on their honeymoon, I shit you not.

Here’s Rathbun’s predictions, and these were written on Sunday well before the settlement announcement. He called it.

Posted on July 8, 2012 by martyrathbun09 | 257 Comments
The following is my opinion along with the facts I base it on.

The Cruise camp’s only three utterances since the divorce filing of Holmes were:

1) First, reports that Tom Cruise was ‘suprised’ by the filing and was ‘saddened.’

2) Next came a ‘source’ from Cruise’s camp expressing dismay that people would think Scientology had anything to do with the matter since Katie had nothing but wonderful things to say about Scientology.

3) Cruise’s attorney Bert Fields taking the incredibly childish swipe at Katie for allegedly orchastrating the international media storm of the past week.

2 and 3 above give strong indication that Tom Cruise is still listening to his best man, Scientology Inc. cult leader David Miscavige. They both sound like vintage Miscavige.

As to the claim that they are so suprised because Katie only expressed ‘love’ for Scientology, that is right out of Miscavige’s well-worn strategy to use pressured, documented, positive utterances (called success stories) against former members in the following wise. Success stories are required after every Scientology Inc service (counseling or study courses) in which the individual puts in writing how the counselling or course changed his or her life for the better. Those succcess stories are the first thing that are mustered and organized for defense when a former member sues or speaks ill of Scientology Inc. to the media. Miscavige has Scientology Inc lawyers and hacks wave about previous success stories and claim that Scientology Inc. is shocked the person who wrote such stories has ‘suddenly’ had a change of heart. Along with that comes their baseless, shrill charges that the person must have been ‘deprogrammed’ by ‘enemies’ with horrid, anti-religious motives.

As to #3, Miscavige and Scientology Inc can’t help but play the victim with queer media conspiracy theories. Has Katie Holmes made a single utterances publicly about the divorce in the past week? No. Yet, the august, venerable Bert Fields snidely claims as a fact that Katie has been working the media against poor Tom.

Based on Miscavige’s white-collar-criminal/abusive-wealthy-corporation way of going about business of late, here is how I see Miscavige/Cruise dealing with this unprecedented public relations flap.

Well before the first court appearance, or next filing in the case, that could set off further media storms, aggressively and intensively negotiate the case to settlement.

Likely terms Miscavige/Cruise will obtain at an astronomical price (Miscavige may even need to dip into Scientology Inc’s war chest to help pay the price):

a) Katie signs a document that indicates there is to be joint/equal custody of the daughter of Tom and Katie. However, there will be a side agreement (that will sit locked up in their lawyer’s safes) that gives Katie sole custody, control over education, and some visitation rights to Tom.

b) Katie signs a document that indicates that Scientology was never an issue nor consideration in the filing for divorce.

Miscavige and Scientology Inc hacks then make the media and their sources wrong for having allegedly jumped the gun to insinuate Scientology into the matter in order to bludgeon Scientology Inc, Miscavige and Cruise.

Miscavige, at bottom, loves the victim card and when his back is against the wall he always plays it, and plays it well. He has, and will, pay untold sums of money to orchestrate the apparancy that he and Scientology Inc. were the victims.

The scenario I predict (buy silence at any price) is precisely what he did earlier this year when former member Debbie Cook testified that Miscavige ordered her to be tortured by associates (see post, Debbie Cook Tells The Hole Truth). He has been doing it for thirty years. The price to accomplish it keeps getting higher. While the price will likely be in a whole new strata when it comes to Katie Holmes, Cruise and Miscavige have plenty of cheese in their Scientology Inc. war chest to pull it off.

In the brave new world of Miscavige/Cruise’s Scientology Inc., image is the only thing.

[From Marty Rathbun’s Blog]

That’s really interesting how they get positive testimonials from people to use against them later. Rathburn also points us to this story from Miscavige’s former longterm personal secretary, who describes how she was systematically cut off from her husband, and was imprisoned in a Scientology work camp when she refused to divorce him. As more stories like this come out, it’s got to be a PR nightmare for this cult. How can they ever spin this other than attacking the people who are coming out publicly? That’s getting old.

The Village Voice has a breakdown of Rathbun’s points along with some of their own findings on this case. They note that the next step will be shaming the media for even daring to question Scientology’s role in the divorce. I bet they’re right. Look at how People Magazine covered this story, it sounds just like the playbook Rathbun mentions.

So did Katie get a nice hefty settlement and primary custody of Suri in exchange for helping this story fade from the gossip world? I bet she did. I also bet she’s never going to talk about Scientology publicly, as some outlets claim was stipulated in the divorce, and in no way do I blame her. She has a daughter to think about, and the very real possibility that her own daughter may be turned against her. Cruise already did it to Nicole Kidman with their two older kids. The damage to this cult has already been done, though, and there’s no stopping the flood of information that’s coming out about Scientology.

Katie is shown on 7-6 and 7-8-12. Credit: and Fame

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In the wake of the TomKat divorce, is the media finally calling Scientology a cult?